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Weight loss initiative leads to healthy lifestyles, prizes and fun

A recent weight loss initiative among the residents of Carmel Forest and Austin House in Charlotte resulted not only in increased healthy living, but a few gifts and surprises were given for the fantastic wellness effort. 

Last month, Kajarra Caldwell, behavioral specialist at Carmel Forest, organized an auction for both sites to create an incentive and to congratulate program participants on their recent weight loss success.  During the exercise program people supported earned points for tracking their exercise progress – and the group collectively lost approximately 60 pounds over several months.  They quickly learned the more you exerciseexercise the more weight you lose, the healthier you become and the more points you would earn, according to Donyelle Haywood, operations manager.

“Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on anxiety, depression and exercise reveals the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood and overall wellness and good mental health,” according to Monarch’s Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Brown, MSW, LCSW. “The efforts they have made are fantastic and we hope that more people will soon follow their impressive lead.”

Caldwell created positive incentives for those who worked so hard to earn points. She and staff from both sites used Monopoly money, which they distributed to individuals in exchange for points they had earned. Staff set up an auction that included clothing items, towel sets, perfume and cologne gift sets, hygiene products, jewelry, handbags, stuffed animals, make-up, movies, gift cards to Wal-Mart and Chick-Fil-A.

“Individuals had a blast bidding on the items they both wanted and needed,” Haywood said. “It was also a good way for them to buy gifts for their family and friends, or just keep it for themselves.  Staff donated items and also prepared a delicious and healthy dinner for all to enjoy. It was a great success!”
Haywood thanked Caldwell for coming up with the idea and keeping individuals excited about exercising. She also acknowledged several staff –  Kealisha Smith, Mable Gartrell, Julie Modde, Fallon Bailey, and Mary Terrell – who graciously donated items for the auction and for their ‘selfless dedication.’

Two honored for employment milestones

Tim - WendysTim Hayes, a resident at Sharonbrook Apartments, and Rosalind Howell, a resident of Carmel Forest Home, both in Charlotte, were recently recognized by their respective employers for a combined 25 years of service.

“If you’re ever in Charlotte and want to meet an extraordinary individual, stop by Carolina Restaurant Group’s Park Road Wendy’s and meet Tim Hayes,” read an article the restaurant distributed about Hayes, who recently celebrated his 20 year anniversary with the Carolina Restaurant Group. Hayes’ coworkers and more than 15 of his regular customers stopped in to help him celebrate this tremendous milestone.  He is on a first name basis with almost every regular customer. In addition to his 20 years of dedicated service, Hayes was also recognized for his zeal for selling coupon books that support Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas’ Foundation for Adoption. To date, Hayes has personally sold coupons totally more than $75,000 to benefit the foundation. Rosalind Howell

Howell needed a job and the management team of Dollar Tree, located on Pineville Matthews Road in Charlotte, provided an opportunity with the help of Monarch and Supported Employment Network (SENET). Howell has proved that she can not only perform her job as a stocker, but is now taking on new tasks. She is maintaining the restrooms; arranging the displays from flowers to kitchen items, and is assisting customers in finding items in the store.  She is also making new friends and forming strong relationships with her co-workers. Recently, the store honored Howell for her five years of service.  Dollar Tree awarded her with a beautiful black leather watch and a certificate of service.

Helping those in need
Staff at Monarch's Bellemeade Center in Greensboro assist their neighbors

Food drive photo-webInstead of exchanging gifts with each other, the medical records staff at Monarch’s Bellemeade Center in Greensboro thought it was best to help those in need who might go without this Christmas.

Their generous and thoughtful gesture to collect canned goods to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank and blankets for Winter Emergency Sites, spread like wildfire. Collection coordinators and Monarch Medical Records Specialists Jenny Lutz and Tracy Joyce said staff members from nearly every department at Bellemeade contributed. Not only did employees help to make Christmas merrier for more families throughout their community, the Bellemeade staff plan an ongoing effort to support even more people in need.

“A lot of the people we serve may benefit from our donations if they use these other community services to which we often refer,” Lutz explained.

Harnett resident saves holiday dinner

Right before Christmas, the Harnett Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Buies Creek was robbed. The culprits stole a  credit card, cash and other valuable items. Unfortunately, the burglar not only stole the program’s items, but they also robbed the people supported in that program of their annual holiday dinner.

When Pam Miller, a local citizen and employee of the Central Carolina Community College that partners with the Monarch program, learned about the robbery, she wanted to help. Miller and her family donated $300 so the 18 people supported in that program could still have their holiday dinner.

“They didn’t think they would get Christmas dinner, which is an annual opportunity for them to enjoy fellowship as a group,” explained Operations Director Tara Alley. “They were very happy to be able to have their annual dinner.”

Monarch offers a variety of group therapies

group therapy pixIn addition to outpatient individual therapy, Monarch offers a variety of Group Therapies. Group Therapy has positive benefits, including reducing mental health symptoms and addressing personal goals.

Group members experience emotional support, empathic understanding, and authentic encouragement from one another. Individuals can increase self-confidence through revealing their interior lives. Group therapy is instrumental in healing many types of emotional and psychological struggles people experience: depression, anxiety, anger, fear, shame, etc.  Participants learn to accept support from others. Members feel less alone in the world through understanding that what they’re going through is not altogether uncommon, and they can often rely on others for support. Understanding other people's problems, goals, and solutions helps members clarify their own.  To learn more, click here.

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